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Saint Lucia focuses on TB eradication

Press Release:-  The Ministry of Health recently joined the international community to celebrate World Tuberculosis Day, via outreach programs.

The ministry continues to focus on eradicating tuberculosis (TB) and preventing new cases through education and treatment.

The communicable disease can be spread from one person to another when the infected individual coughs, speaks, or sings.

Senior Medical Officer for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Michelle Francois, described some of the signs and symptoms of TB.

“Persons with TB normally have a cough which lasts for over three weeks. They may cough up blood, they may have chest pain. Other signs of TB include night sweats, and very poor appetite, as well as loss of weight.”

Dr. Francois also revealed that specific groups may be more at risk of contracting TB.

“Anyone can get TB if they are exposed. However, there are specific groups who are predisposed or who are more likely to contract it because their immune systems are not as strong as the rest. So persons who are very young, children, very old individuals, persons living with HIV, or cancer, and those with renal disease or with diabetes—whatever condition that weakens your system makes you more likely to contract TB.”

Tuberculosis is curable. Treatment is available on the island free of charge.

The Ministry continues to implement strategies to build awareness of the existence of TB and measures that can be taken to combat it.

World Tuberculosis Day is observed annually on March 24.

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